Summer 2020 BOD Candidates
July 9, 2020
2022 Election
July 6, 2022
Summer 2020 BOD Candidates
July 9, 2020
2022 Election
July 6, 2022

New Members: ESRA Board of Directors

Thank you for taking time to review the questions and answers prepared by the newest members of ESRA's Board of Directors. As the board notified members, the election was uncontested. After consulting with ESRA's lawyer, ESRA declined to conduct the election and has appointed Gabriella Filisko, Will Mayer and Rene' Pizzo to the open board seats. Their three-year terms will run through summer 2024.

In addition, Jan Scarbrough has been appointed to finish out the term of former board member Dan Replogle, who resigned this summer. Her term will continue through summer 2023.

Click on each name to review their responses. Presented in alphabetical order by last name.

The views presented are those of the candidates and do not necessarily represent the views of English Springer Rescue America, Inc., its members, or its board of directors.

If you have questions, please email elections@springerrescue.org.

How long have you been an ESRA member?
I’m not exactly sure the date I joined because I originally thought that doing things like fostering and transporting meant I was a member. Then one day, my coordinator called and said I needed to formally join to continue being a foster. That was in 2015. So maybe 2014? 2013?

What volunteering have you done for ESRA?
I’ve fostered probably 10 times. I also love transporting, and whenever I can, I do a transport, usually with my fellow Chicagoan and ESRA member Mitchelle Kmiec (who adopted Lucy after I fostered Lucy for four months). I’ve also volunteered in person at many ESRA events. As a board member, I’ve served on the election committee, the audit committee, the holiday card committee, and the newsletter committee.

Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?
I think ESRA is on a really positive trajectory, and I’d like to make sure it stays on that forward path. I think most important is that we in leadership build a strong team of volunteers who can step up when needed. I think we can get more members involved in more volunteering activities.

What would be your top three goals as a board member?
1. To continue to work with the board, vice presidents, and state coordinators to identify successors, ensure access to records, and expand our team of future leaders.
2. To be an example of how you can make a difference by volunteering in the hope that more members will think, “That’s cool; I should try it, too.” Volunteers are necessary for ESRA’s ongoing success. I also believe it can help bridge the divisions that plague this country. (Corny, but I believe it.)
3. To continue to use my legal skills to help the board understand the legal implications of actions it’s considering.

Re-appointed by the ESRA Board of Directors

Click here for Gabriella Filisko's ESRA Service Resume.
How long have you been an ESRA member?
I have been an ESRA member since 2016

What volunteering have you done for ESRA?
I have performed home visits, transports, and respite fostering for ESRA including adoption of two females (Grace in 2016 and Gabby in 2020).

Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?
I believe there is an opportunity for growth in the digital space for ESRA. This would include expanding our presence and marketing in social media and working to grow awareness amongst a younger demographic who will be coming into pet ownership at an accelerated rate over the coming years. To facilitate our growth I can use connections I have in the social media marketing space to get pro bono assistance as well as rely on prior experience in animal rescue with fundraisers and high-impact stories to engage the audience.

What would be your top three goals as a board member?
1. Continue the organic growth and reputation that ESRA has built over the past few years through digital marketing of the work done each day by the volunteers.
2. Find ways to tie the regional chapters into a more cohesive national organization while expanding partnership with like-minded animal rescue organizations with similar missions.
3. Leverage my decade of animal rescue leadership experience to fundraise and raise awareness of the organization through partnerships with other organizations, grant organizations, monetary donors, supply donors, and vet clinics.

Appointed by the ESRA Board of Directors

Click here for Will Mayer's ESRA Service Resume.
How long have you been an ESRA member?
I’ve supported ESRA’s work since 2003 when my first Springer died and I was looking for another to adopt. I officially became a member mid-2015 as I neared my retirement date.

What volunteering have you done for ESRA?
I started off in 2015 doing transports in Oregon and Washington. This included springing Springers from animal shelters, picking them up at their relinquishing homes, and picking them up from emergency veterinary hospitals. I fostered some of them overnight before beginning the longer drives to their foster home, adoptive home, or another transporter. I still do transports and try to be available immediately for the more urgent responses.
I assisted one foster family who lived locally with training their foster dog.
I joined the Newsletter Team in 2019.
I joined the Finance Team in February 2019. I do the data entry into the Wild Apricot database for the Facebook Foundation contributions, and I assisted with data entry for the 2020 Best Friends Pet Walk contributions. I enter new contacts into the database and send acknowledgements for their contribution to those already in our database.

Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?
We have a lot of people who follow us on social media that we know are passionate about Springers. I’d love to encourage they take the next step to become members so we can help even more dogs. Reaching out to people via social media, our newsletters and website blog, and on a personal level are ways I believe we can be effective.

What would be your top three goals as a board member?
1. First, I would like to figure out a way to reach ESS owners to seek assistance or relinquish their dogs before their dogs get to a point where they are as sick as many of the dogs that come into our care.
2. Along the same lines, I would like to see folks who find their Springer is too active for them, or they are unable to care for them for other reasons, feel comfortable with relinquishing their dogs.
3. Third, as I mentioned above, I’d like to continue building our member base so we can help more dogs.

Appointed by the ESRA Board of Directors

Click here for Rene' Pizzo's ESRA Service Resume.
How long have you been an ESRA member?New ESRA board member Jan Scarbrough with her horse
I joined ESRA in 2006 when I started searching for a Springer to adopt. When I looked at all those dogs available, I thought “How do you decide which one?” And so, I applied to foster instead of adopting. (I did end up adopting three of my senior fosters!) Since that time, I have fostered over 25 Springers as well as a few others from shelters I worked with in Kansas and Kentucky.

What volunteering have you done for ESRA?
Besides fostering, I have logged many miles doing transports, have coordinated transports for Michigan on many occasions and assisted in the transport coordination of the two puppy mill busts (KS/MO) we did several years ago.
In 2015, I assisted the election team with the tallying and verification of email votes. I have done vet checks for both Kentucky and Michigan. I spearheaded the Strut Your Mutt Michigan Team in 2019 and 2020. More recently I began assisting the ESRA Treasurer (processing the PayPal receipts monthly) and processing expense reports for ESRA Midwest.
I am also part of the ESRA Membership Committee as Foster Home Membership Support.

Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?
Growth of our membership has always been important to our board. I think retention is also important. How can we encourage people to remain members past that initial joining time period? I think education will be a key component; informing them how important their role as a member can be for the future and betterment of ESRA.
I have seen somewhat of a “disregard” for ESRA when people are looking for a Springer: “No, I don’t want to adopt a rescue, I want a purebred Springer.” I proceed to show them some of the available dogs, and find they had no idea we had “dogs like that.” I feel this is another “educational” opportunity ESRA has.

What would be your top three goals as a board member?
1. I would like to work with the Foster Home initiative. I feel quite strongly that we need to provide educational opportunities for foster families, mentor them, “be there” for them. I know these programs are already happening, but we will need to keep building on them, redefining them as circumstances change. As a former breeder of Springers, I knew quite a bit when I first fostered, but I can still say if it had not been for the guidance…and “shoulder to cry on” …that my state coordinator offered, I would not have survived it all. Fostering is wonderful, but it can also be trying and heartbreaking.
2. As I mentioned, growth and retention of membership are vitally important, but so is taking an active role in the organization. How do we encourage people, especially among the younger generations where so many are indifferent to the idea of “giving back,” to join, remain members, and to take roles on committees and the board? These are things I look forward to working towards.
3. By nature, I am a person that can “stand back,” look at things from all angles, and offer suggestions for change that help streamline, clarify and bring resolution. I hope I am able to bring that to the ESRA board as well.

Appointed by the ESRA Board of Directors

Click here for Jan Scarbrough's ESRA Service Resume.